Spin chirality and electric polarization in multiferroic compounds RMn2 O5 (R = Ho, Er)

Shuichi Wakimoto, Hiroyuki Kimura, Mamoru Fukunaga, Keisuke Nishihata, Masayasu Takeda, Kazuhisa Kakurai, Yukio Noda, Yoshinori Tokura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Polarized neutron diffraction experiments have been performed on multiferroic materials RMn2 O5 (R = Ho, Er) under electric fields in the ferroelectric commensurate (CM) and the low-temperature incommensurate (LT-ICM) phases, where the former has the highest electric polarization and the latter has reduced polarization. It is found that, after cooling in electric fields down to the CM phase, the magnetic chirality is proportional to the electric polarization. Also we confirmed that the magnetic chirality can be switched by the polarity of the electric polarization in both the CM and LT-ICM phases. These facts suggest an intimate coupling between the magnetic chirality and the electric polarization. However, upon the transition from the CM to LT-ICM phase, the reduction of the electric polarization is not accompanied by any reduction of the magnetic chirality, implying that the CM and LT-ICM phases contain different mechanisms of the magnetoelectric coupling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2513-2516
Number of pages4
JournalPhysica B: Condensed Matter
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2009


  • Multiferroic RMn O
  • Polarized neutron diffraction
  • Spin chirality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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